Call this the boldest prediction of the week, or call me crazy, I've been called worst in my time, but the UTEP Miners are going to knock off UAB this Saturday at the Sun Bowl to win their first game in nearly two seasons.  The Miners have lost 19 consecutive games, which marks the longest losing streak in the nation, and to be precise, haven't won a game in 698 days.  Why on earth would I say that they are going to beat a really good UAB squad who's 5-1 and off to their best start in program history?  The answer is simple; because the Miners are due for a win, and I think it will be against a quality opponent.

As of late, UTEP has been playing much better football, and despite an 0-7 record, is a competitive team with heart and determination, and that can take you farther than one can imagine.  Consider this, the Miners really haven't had a bad loss per se since their 24-0 defeat at Tennessee on September 15, and have lost their last four games by a combined total of 26 points.  This may sound strange, but there is a difference between a really bad winless team and a team such as UTEP, who is playing solid football in close, fierce battles, which has been the case as of late.

Let's face it, eventually this team is bound to get a break in one of these close games as the ball will bounce their way, and they will limit turnovers, which has certainly been their Achilles heel in their last few loses.  For some reason, I feel as though their first win will come against a quality opponent, as it seems that this team has certainly stepped up their game against better teams lately considering the way they played at LA Tech and UNT, both winnable games.

The Miners put forth a tremendous effort in their 31-24 loss to LA Tech, a game that they actually tied or lead in the 4th quarter for the first time since 2016.  Combine that with the performance by third string QB Brandon Jones who saw action due to a Metz concussion, and it was a valiant effort, despite the loss.  Beating UAB will be no easy task as the Blazers are coming into the game red hot, lead the overall series 4-1, and are allowing just over 15 points per game, but, that as they say, 'is why they play the game!'

Kai Locksley will get the start for the Miners, and could be the spark they need to get the victory.  Hopefully with it being Military Night and post game fireworks occurring courtesy of Speaking Rock, there will be more than 12,000 fans in attendance to witness the Miners upset UAB.  I'm not saying that fans should tear down the goalposts if UTEP does defeat UAB, but it would certainly be a huge step in the right direction.  My prediction, UTEP 24-21 over UAB, would love to see it happen.

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